Our Common Good

The week-long average for Maddow in the 25-54 demographic was 378,000, vs. Sean Hannity’s 352,000. O’Donnell bested Greta Van Susteren 359,000 to 245,000.

The Ed Show continues to lag behind his network companions, but perhaps he should be cut some slack because he is also airing opposite the highest rated program on cable news, The O’Reilly Factor. Even so, MSNBC’s primetime lineup managed to beat Fox News outright on two nights (Wednesday and Thursday).

This is pretty good news.  Especially since, with some cable and satellite packages MSNBC does not come with the basic packages like Fox does.  You have to pay extra to get it.

Yes, please.

Particularly impressive were the results of the two powerhouse programs on the MSNBC lineup: Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell. Maddow won seven of the eight days against her Fox competition, Sean Hannity. For the 8-day run Maddow beat Hannity by 18% and her 544k average was second to only Bill O’Reilly in all of cable news. O’Donnell won all eight days against Fox’s Greta Van Susteren. His margin of victory over Van Susteren was 17% for the eight days.

This can no longer be considered a temporary blip on the ratings scales. With two weeks having elapsed, the MSNBC programs are showing steady strength against competition that was once thought insurmountable. Only Bill O’Reilly is holding his top position for Fox in primetime. This may indicate that Sean Hannity is wearing thin with viewers who are likely disappointed with his overly confident (and harebrained) assurances that all the polls were wrong and that Mitt Romney would emerge victorious.

The very public argument under way — after all, the players have media platforms that give them a megaphone for their views — has significant implications for the future of the GOP. The right has a deep, diverse, and highly influential bench of opinion makers, and its pundits are moving to expand their influence in a sphere suffering from a lack of political leadership from its elected officials and organizational figures.

On Tuesday evening, Matt Drudge set the Internet on fire by promising a video that would produce charges of racism by “both sides.” What he ended up producing instead was a massive, bored sigh when BuzzFeed scooped him by pointing out that much of the video had been on YouTube for years.

Drudge’s immensely popular right-wing site continued promoting the video until it was shown and dissected on Fox News’ Hannity. The Daily Caller’s Tucker Carlson sat in and explained how he knew this was a bombshell: “I know because I reported it the first time.”

That’s right: Carlson also trumpeted the “new” video during the 2008 campaign on his ill-fated MSNBC show.

Host Sean Hannity and his guest fixated on the president’s “accent” in the video, suggesting he was putting on a black affect to connect with the crowd.

Most observers quickly dismissed the stunt as an attempt to create a “47 percent” moment for the president that reveals his disdain for some Americans. Hannity at one point said that then-candidate Obama made derisive comments about “poor people” — when Obama was clearly speaking about the need to provide skills training to neglected groups including the homeless, veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and young adults coming out of foster care.

Carlson went on Fox and Friends Wednesday morning to blame the dismissal of the tape on the “throne sniffers” in the mainstream media. Yet by morning even Drudge had dropped the story from his top headline and moved on to the next manufactured outrage.

Then they claimed Obama was fomenting racial hate by complaining about the federal government’s response to Katrina – which plenty of white people complained about, too. They took particular issue with his claim that federal Stafford Act funding in Louisiana was less liberal than it had been with New Yorkers after 9/11 and Florida residents after Hurricane Andrew.  But it took a quick Google search to find a white Louisiana politician, Sean Reilly of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, making the exact same complaint to PBS’s Frontline.

They absolutely ignore his suggestion that churches and families have to take more of a role in uplifting the black community. One solution to poverty, he told the preachers, is “to take individual responsibility for our families.” He suggests poor people need to “turn off the TV and read a book” to their children, and stop feeding them “Jay’s Potato Chips.” He tells young people to put down their video games and get to work.

I really don’t know how anyone could watch the whole speech and not come away at least a little moved. Carlson must have had interns watch it and pick out the parts that served right-wing prejudices, because all of that God talk, and all the talk about the responsibility of churches, and families, and individuals, sounded almost … Republican. Or “Republican” before we had a black president, and the party’s appeal began to rely so heavily on racism.

They had an election and they elected moderates. They rejected Islamists. And yes, there are al-Qaeda factors and there are extremists in Libya today, but the Libyan people are friends of ours, and they support us, and they support democracy. So you were wrong about — so you were wrong about Libya.


Actual Fox News screenshot.

If it wasn’t obvious that Fox News is the propaganda machine for the GOP (Grand Old Party), nothing will prove it to you.



Actual Fox News screenshot.

If it wasn’t obvious that Fox News is the propaganda machine for the GOP (Grand Old Party), nothing will prove it to you.


Tonight, George Zimmerman — who is currently facing second degree murder charges for killing Trayvon Martin — participated in a highly unusual interview on Fox News with Sean Hannity.

Hannity asked Zimmerman if he regretted getting out of his car to follow Trayvon, carrying a gun, or anything at all about the night he killed Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman said he regretted nothing because he believed “it was all God’s plan.” He also said there isn’t anything he would do differently in retrospect.

(via George Zimmerman Says He Regrets Nothing: ‘It Was God’s Plan’ For Me To Kill Trayvon Martin)

Misogyny Warning….

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, a Fox News contributor, tea party activist and personal friend of Sean Hannity’s said in a sermon recently published to YouTube that America’s greatest mistake was allowing women the right to vote, adding that back in “the good old days, men knew that women are crazy and they knew how to deal with them.”

In the video, published to YouTube in March, Peterson explains that he believes women simply can’t handle “anything,” and that in his experience, “You walk up to them with a issue, they freak out right away. They go nuts. They get mad. They get upset, just like that. They have no patience because it’s not in their nature. They don’t have love. They don’t have love.”


Peterson, founder of the conservative religious group Brotherhood Organization of A New Destiny (BOND), appeared on the Fox News Channel on May 1, more than a month after giving his controversial sermon. Fox News host Kirsten Powers even confronted Peterson about his “mysogynistic” speech and challenged Hannity to repudiate it, but the Republican opinion host did not, and instead gave Peterson a platform to denounce “liberal, women policies.”

That may not be a surprise, however: Hannity has hosted Peterson numerous times and even serves on BOND’s advisory board. “BOND continues to fight the good fight standing for the values of God, family, and country, and are deserving of our support,” he said, according to the group.


That “truth,” it would seem, isn’t just about liberal women, or even women in general. Peterson made headlines in January after telling a Huffington Post reporter that he would like to see black people put “back on the plantation so they would understand the ethic of working… They need a good hard education on what it is to work.” On his website, Peterson has published an open letter to Attorney General Eric Holder that advocates the arrest of New Black Panthers members.

In another post, he explains what he calls “the end of one-sided defense,” in which Peterson insists that men should re-take the right to physically strike women. “While I certainly do not sanction men attacking women, neither is it right for men to allow themselves to be beaten by a woman,” he wrote. “It’s time for men to re-assert their right to self defense.”

Peterson has also been on the leading edge of racially-motivated Republican attacks on Planned Parenthood, alleging at a press conference in 2008 that the group is responsible for killing “over 1,500 black babies” every day.

Fox News host Kirsten Powers confronts Peterson and asks Hannity to to repudiate what Peterson is saying in the video below {or via this link}, but Hannity, of course declines - trying to get the panel back to attacking Obama:


Romney Profits Mightily from Right-Wing Radio
Download the poster pack


Romney Profits Mightily from Right-Wing Radio

Download the poster pack


Much of Sean Hannity’s Friday show was devoted to complaining that the left-wing is loaded with haters who do things right-wingers would never, ever do, like organize boycotts to do harm to those who say right-wing things. He was, of course, continuing the ongoing smear campaign against Media Matters, who must just be driving them all crazy over at Fox News now that there’s a book out exposing their strategies.

But really, Sean Hannity should try the Google before he lays down challenges like this one. While I’m unimpressed with “Democratic strategist” Julie Roginsky’s response, it’s his challenge I really want to look at more carefully. After asking why it is the left “always goes after conservatives” without going after their own, Roginsky tosses off a rather careless response, saying, “that’s the left. The right does the same thing.”

Let me take that challenge, because Sean Hannity doesn’t seem to know conservative media or conservative infrastructure as well as he thinks he does.

  • One Million Moms first threatened a boycott of JC Penney’s to force them to remove Ellen DeGeneres as their new spokeswoman. Their more recent effort is against Toys ‘R Us for selling a newly-published Archie comic featuring a gay wedding. Their purpose, as stated on their website: “OMM is strictly an online campaign focusing primarily on the entertainment media (television, music, movies, etc.). The goal of this campaign is to stop the exploitation of children by such media.” One Million Moms is a project of the Family Research Council, featured often on Fox News. Current boycott projects include Lifetime Television, ABC and Disney, and Clorox bleach.
  • In 2009, Rush Limbaugh called on his listeners to boycott GM, saying “nobody wants to support an Obama company.” Rasmussen Reports immediately followed up with a poll to see how many would support such a boycott.
  • Newsbusters, the conservative activist wing of the Media Research Center, criticized networks for playing up a boycott of Lowe’s Corporation. The reason for the boycott? Lowe’s had advertising placements on TLC’s “All-American Muslim”, and that outraged right-wing critics. Lowe’s bowed to the pressure from enraged right-wingers and pulled the ads. Newsbusters chided networks for “playing up Lowe’s outrage.”
  • American Family Association calls for a boycott of Old Navy for supporting the “It Gets Better” project.
  • USA Christian Ministries calls for Starbucks boycott over tolerance for gay rights and anti-gun stance.
  • Liberty Counsel calls for a boycott of PayPal after four accounts of anti-gay activists were suspended.
  • Mike Huckabee, on Fox News, called for a boycott of NPR after Juan Williams was fired.

Should I go on, or do you think I’ve proven Hannity to be the whiny little liar we knew he was?

h/t: Karoli at Crooks and Liars

Conservative talker-endorsed precious metal retailer Goldline International agreed to a court order this week to repay defrauded customers $4.5 million and overhaul its business practices. The injunction, handed down by the Los Angeles County Superior Court, was obtained by the City Attorney of Santa Monica, California — where the company is based — who had filed 19 criminal counts of fraud and theft against the company last year. Those charges have now been dismissed.

Goldline’s entire business model was essentially a scam, the city attorney found. It was a bait-and-switch: Consumers wanted to buy gold bullion, but salespeople preyed on their fears — including falsely claiming that the government could seize bullion — and misled them into buying vastly overpriced gold coins instead. Consumers typically paid more than 55 percent above the actual value of the coins, which are much harder to sell down the road, instantly wiping out a large portion of their savings.

At the time, Goldline called the charges “preposterous” and vowed to fight them. But in addition to the $4.5 million, the court order requires Goldline to put $800,000 into a fund for future claims, and submit to a court-appointed monitor who will have full access to company’s operations, at Goldline’s expense. In addition, it will have to disclose its actual markups and stop misleading customers.

The company is best known for its ties to conservative talk radio hosts like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin, who were central to the company’s marketing model. Two former GOP presidential candidates — Mike Huckabee and Fred Thompson — have even endorsed the gold retailer.


Jon Stewart points out that Fox “News” douchebag Sean Hannity’s “panel” discussing contraceptive care is packed with… men. AKA “absolutely everyone who might have something relevant to say about women’s health.”


Jon Stewart points out that Fox “News” douchebag Sean Hannity’s “panel” discussing contraceptive care is packed with… men. AKA “absolutely everyone who might have something relevant to say about women’s health.”



CNN’s Anderson Cooper explains why a fellow cable ‘news’ anchor has earned a spot on AC360’s RidicuList.

Anderson Cooper awesomely calls out Sean Hannity for editing a clip for his “Liberal Media Bias” segment that aired on Fox News. Cooper plays both Hannity’s version and the actual clip in its entirety, and the differences are pretty astounding. Making up liberal bias for a right wing special on liberal bias? Head spinning, but not surprised.